Know Your Role: The Ultimate Slots Glossary

2 animated winning slot machines in neon colors

The Ultimate A to Z of Slot Machines

Slot machines are among the easiest and most popular games found in both online and brick and mortar casinos, though there is more to it than simply pulling a lever and spinning the reels hoping to hit the jackpot. In order to master the slots and win big, you need to master a bit of the language of slot machines.


ACTION – Also called ‘Play’, this refers to the total amount a player wages at a machine.

ACTIVE PAYLINE – Payouts will occur if the payline a player has bet on has a winning match.

ANNUITY WINNER – Jackpot winners who choose to get paid out in yearly instalments.

AUTOPLAY – A feature on many slots that can be triggered by the player to spin automatically.


BANK – A row of machines placed side by side that often match a theme.

BARS – The most common symbol found on reels are marked with the word ‘BAR’.

BET – The amount of money a player wages on per spin.

BIG BERTHA – A machine used by casinos as a marketing device to attract attention.

BIG WIN – The highest payout available on a specific slot game or jackpot.

BLANK – A blank space found between the symbols on a reel.

BONUS FEATURE – Reference to an additional feature that awards a win on top of the active payline.

BONUS MULTIPLIER – A game type that includes a bonus prize.

BONUS SLOTS – Specific machines that will award free spins or other bonuses.

BRANDED SLOTS – Themed slots often based on popular TV shows or movies.

BUY-A-PAY-SLOT – A type of slot in which each bet unlocks new potential winning matches.


CAROUSEL – Another term for the Bank.

CANDLE – The small light often found at the top of a slot machine.

CASHBACK – A feature on some slots that award players with money back on their bets.

CERTIFIED SLOTS – A type of slot game that has a 98% to 100% payout rate.

CICO – An abbreviation for ‘Coin in Coin out’ that tracks the coins in and out of a machine.

CLASSIC SLOT – A term for the earliest slots that featured only three reels.

COINS – The currency used by players to make bets at slot machines.

Lots of golden coins falling down with a dollar sign on each one

COIN SIZE – An indicator of how much a coin is worth.

COIN-FREE PLAY – This style of slot machine will pay out tickets instead of coins.

COINS PER LINE – The number of coins allowed, or required, to play a specific pay line.

COINS PER SPIN – The number of coins a player chooses to bet on a single spin.


DENOMINATION – The value of each credit played at a specific slot machine.

DOUBLES – A rare occasion where symbols come up two or three at a time for double payouts.

DRAGONFISH – A famous online slot gambling manufacturer.

DROPS – A feature where the symbols on slots fall into place on the reel.


EDGE – The advantage that the house (or casino) has over the player.

EXPANDING WILDS – A symbol that expands to cover the entire reel to increase chances of winning.


FEATURE – A feature in slots could be a reference to bonuses, free spins and more.

FILL – A slang term for a bag that contains coins that fills a coin hopper.

FIVE LINER – A slot type where the player has the chance to win on five payout lines.

FREEPLAY – Slots that can be enjoyed for free, without risking any money.

FRUIT MACHINE – A nickname for slot machines coined in the UK.

3 fruit machines lined up in a dim room


GAMES PER HOUR – Reference to the number of spins made by a player per hour.


HAMMER A MACHINE – The act of playing the same machine or game for a long time.

HIT – A term for a winning spin.

HIT AND RUN – A style of playing slots that involves rotating between machines frequently.

HOT SLOT – A term for a machine that seems to be paying out more than others.


INSTANT WINNER – Jackpot winners who get all their winnings paid out immediately.


JACKPOT – The top prize offered by a particular slot.


LINE BET – The total amount a player wagers on the pay lines.

LOOSE SLOT – A term for a machine with a high payout rate.

LOW-LEVEL SLOT – A machine with a chair or seat is referred to as a low-level slot.

LOW-VOLATILITY SLOT – A slot that pays out often but only on small to medium-sized bets.


MAJOR JACKPOT – The larger payout of a slot that offers multiple progressive jackpots.

MAXIMUM BET – The highest bet allowed at a particular slot per spin.

MULTI-LINE SLOT – A term for a slot that contains multiple paylines.

MULTI-SPIN SLOT – Specific slots that have up to 9 reel sets instead of only one.


NEAR MISS – When a player misses a win by only one symbol.

Golden slot machine showing it was only one symbol away from winning.

NICKEL SLOTS – Slots that are played only with a denomination of a nickel (5 cents).

NUDGE – A button found on some slots that allow the player to push a reel up or down.

NUMBER SYMBOLS – Symbols that pay the least and are commonly represented by 10, J, Q, K, and A.


ONE-ARMED BANDIT – One of the most popular slang terms for a slot machine.

ONE LINER – A game that only has one reel.

ONESIES – A slang term for playing with only one credit or coin per spin.


PAYLINE – The payout of each game depends on the pattern of symbols that must be matched.

PAYTABLE – A table displayed on slots that show all the possible payouts and bonuses.

PENNY SLOT – Slots that are played with the lowest denomination of just a penny (1 cent).

PICK TO WIN – A bonus game offered by some slots that is similar to a pick and match game.

POKIES – An Australian slang term for slot machines.

PROGRESSIVE JACKPOT – A jackpot that increases over time.

PROGRESSIVE SLOT – Refers to interlinked slots that offer a progressive jackpot.


QUARTER SLOTS – Slots that are played with only a denomination of a quarter (25 cents).


RAINING – When a slot machine pays out and it sounds like rain.

REELS – Rotating barrels that contain the game symbols that must be matched.

ROLL-UP – A suspenseful sound made by a machine when a player wins.


SCATTER SYMBOL – A symbol that doesn’t need to be in any order or combination in a spin.

SELECT LINES – The number of selected paylines in one game.

SHORT WIN – A win that doesn’t pay out due to a low denomination bet.

SKILL-BASED GAME – A common bonus round that resembles a video game.

SLOT CLUB – A rewards club for players in a casino or online.

SLOT TALK – When players exchange information about a game with a host.

STREAKY SLOTS – A slot that is referred to as both ‘hot’ and ‘cold’.

STRAIGHT MULTIPLIER – A type of slot that can have all winning matches triggered by a single coin.


TAKE – An assumption that slots have a cycle during which they will pay out after enough bets.

TICKET – A printed ticket that players receive that can be exchanged for their winnings.

TILT – A term for a malfunction or an error in a live or online slot machine.

TOTAL BET – The total amount of bets a player makes at a specific machine.

TWO LINER – A type of slot that has two reels allowing for a potential double payout.

TASTE – A small payout from a slot and the assumption that it will keep the player spinning.


VOLATILITY – A reference to how difficult or easy it is to hit a jackpot in a specific game.

VIDEO SLOTS – A type of slot with an electronic display that doesn’t contain mechanical reels.

Seven video powered slot machines lined up in a casino

VIRTUAL REEL TECHNOLOGY – A system that allows for more losing and fewer winning matches.


WELL – The tray into which coins fall after a payout.

WILD SYMBOL – A game symbol that can be used as a substitute for others in a winning pattern.

WINNING COMBINATION – A pattern of symbols that, when matched, pays out a win.


ZIGZAG – A winning combination that forms a zigzag pattern on the reels.


234 PAYLINES – A special game with a high number of paylines that cover every line.

3-REEL SLOTS – A slot game that features 3 reels.

5-REEL SLOTS – A slot game that features 5 reels.

Time to Spin

Now that you have all the language you need to succeed on the slots, you are ready to hit the slots and, hopefully, hit that big jackpot. Borgata Online Casino has some of the best games available online and is the best place to take your new vocabulary for a spin. Sign up with us today.

A black and white laptop with a slot machine lever